Day 17: November 7th 2008 Friday
Eating out at shabu-shabu restaurant
We slept late in the morning, and then took the Yamanote to Shinjuku. Lonely Planet guide recommended a photography gallery in there, so we looked for the place. First of all, it was Pentax-only place. Being Canon-man myself, the equipment section didn't interest me. Also there were only few pictures, so it was done in few minutes. So far my luggage had been in Chofu, so we decided to leave Shinjuku and went to Chofu to get rest of my stuff back to the weekly mansion.
Back at the room, we took few bottles of drinks with us, and headed out. Miki called her sister, and we agreed to meet at Shinjuku for dinner. On my list of foods to try, I had shabu-shabu, so we decided to find place that served such. At the station, while we were waiting for Miki's sister to arrive, I asked police for direction. He told us shabu-shabu restaurant quite close from the station. After short wait, Miki's sister and her friend arrived, so we walked to the restaurant.
Unfortunately there was line, so we placed our name on the queue, and started waiting. As the line seemed to move slowly, we went out to convenient store to get few more cans of sake and umeshu. Returning back to the restaurant, we got table quite quickly. Shabu-shabu is quite interesting food. On the table, you have pan of boiling water, and you cook your own food there. This particular restaurant was all-you-can-eat -place, so the waiter brought lot of beef and pork on the table. You pick the slice of meat with your chopsticks, dip it in the boiling water, swirl it around few times, and eat. Repeat until full.
The restaurant had 90 minute time limit for the all-you-can-eat, but in the 90 minutes, we all got too stuffed. But it was so good. Amazing how so simple food can be so delicious. Apart from the sushi, this was one of my favorite foods in Japan. It was starting to get late, and we still had few cans of drinks, so as we got out from the restaurant, we went to a game center to play some games, and drink the rest of the drinks we had.